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Went to my reading group last night to discuss "The Left Hand of Darkness". Bit of a marmite book - some people liked it, some people didn't. Seems every month now we're getting new folk show up too, which is good as fresh opinions liven things up.

Due to [ profile] beeblebear's choice (Towing Johah(sp?)) being totally out of print in the UK and not being able to get copies from the US, we found ourselves having to resort to picking a book quickly to read this month. So turning to the Hugo awards, we scanned through the list and ended up picking Little Brother, which I admittedly read only a few months ago, but it's such a mighty read, that I'm going to read it again. And then cos we had the list up still, we picked The Graveyard Book for the month after.

This means I have a 3 in 5 chance of having read a Hugo winner this year, as we read Charlie Stross' Saturn's Children some time last year. And given the other 2 nominees, I think I could easily read at least a 4th too, cos I like Scalzi's other books.

Also last night [ profile] majic13 decided to drag himself out of his pit to visit us all at the pub and to pimp out his dead-tree edition of Dark Places. Not too unsuprisingly, we ended up with at least 20 folk turn up. Which was good but it's a shame we can't get those kinds of numbers without having to resort to [ profile] majic13 bringing his milkshake. On the plus side it might convince the students who did show up to turn up more often though. Which in turn might mean we get more students interested in appearing next term/year.

I now have the fun job of working out a way of adding the copy of The Well of Stars I got for the library and tying it into [ profile] majic13's profile rather than adding him as a seperate author. Cos otherwise, it'll replace his name with a link to the author rather than to him in the wiki(ish) bits of the site.

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The Xmas bash I mentioned previously is now definitely pencilled in for the Thursday 11th of December. I say pencilled in, purely because we need to know numbers ASAP as depending on how many we get, it depends on what kind of affair we have.

The choices are either a sit-down, 3 course meal with a glass of bubbly for 20quid. Or a finger buffet - price not mentioned. The former is limited to around 20something people - I'm guessing it's in the "other" side of the pub - so if we get more than that, we'll have to go for the finger buffet option.

And it's specifically on a Thursday at the pub we meet on specifically cos they want to improve ties with the ex-student crowd and hopefully garner interest in people showing up on future Thursdays too.

[Poll #1301092]
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Technically we've just had the first official IFIS Thursday pub night for almost a year. Not only did we have 2 students turn up ([ profile] bogadalas doesn't count as he hasn't joined in ages). Not only were they freshers. But they were actual living breathing members of the committee! :O

And what is even more shocking, is that they're planning on coming again next week. So I was thinking, maybe we should make next Thursday another one of those planned Thursdays where loads of people show up? People like [ profile] majic13 and the like? It's kind of short notice, but I figure people should be able to get their butts in gear by then?

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Pub last night wasn't as bad as expected. The kitchen closed early, but there was a BBQ for the party and they didn't appear to mind randoms pinching stuff (based on my co-workers experiences). And we coralled in the end of the pub with the pool table (although it was moved to the side) and the comfy (if poisonous) leather sofas.

It turns out it was Spanish Soc that were hosting the event. One of the many pointless socs that are really just departmental social groups that the college is too stingy to fund themselves.

The pub was pretty packed - probably the first time I've seen it that busy since back in the days when the rock night was on. I imagine A is very pleased with his takings/profit even if he did have the hassle of moving all the furniture and hiring an extra member of staff.

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Just in case folk have forgotten already, we'll not have the full run of the pub tonight as part of it is booked by some society or other.

And next week a bunch of folk we haven't seen in ages are showing up.

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After a two week gap, getting back to the normal pub routine was good. There was an enormous beast there - he and [ profile] kanga2 and brought their puppy along with them too ;).

Also slightly traumatised by [ profile] the_grim_squeak with short hair in a suit. He looked vaguely presentable. I wonder how long it'll last.

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So...which pub are we going to tonight? Cos there's no way I want to be anywhere near my work's BBQ.

EDIT: Nevermind - I've found an excuse not to go. Heading up for goodbye drinks for [ profile] gmplatypus at the Man.

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Despite initial fears that [ profile] majic13 slacking off from the pub would invoke the curse/jinx/whatever and cause it to be a quiet night, it was pretty busy pub wise. Even had twice as many students as usual too ;)

Today is Star Wars day. Beleated best wishes to all you Jedi (and Sith) out there on your special intergalatic day.

To celebrate the day I'm gonna see Spidey!!! w00t! That is assuming I don't go postal and butcher my co-workers who keep insisting on talking about episodes of Lost I've yet to see (and I'm unlikely to see until they come out on DVD or an alternative TV channel).

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Our usual pub is shut due to a death apparently. So we've gone to our new alternative, the Railway. No idea if anyone who cares will read this in time, but I figure I should post this info just in case.

Maybe [ profile] cream_horn will read it, since not having a mobile phone, we've no way of letting him know.
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It's looking pretty good. The kitchen isn't ready yet but they're willing to do us a load of sandwiches.

Someone seems to like No Doubt - it's all the jukebox has played since I arrived.
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Last night was different. Obviously different because it was a different pub, but also different because we some how managed to attract a couple of randoms too. Nice folk. Pretty one off random of them being in the pub, so I doubt we'll see much of them in the future if at all.

Otherwise, the pub was...very muted. It's a lot larger than what we're used to, but it had roughly the same number of people in it. So we rattled about quite a bit. We nabbed the sofas which aren't really practical for eating or drinking in, but they're very comfy. Food was nearly a disaster as apparently they were planning on starting evening food next week, but we some how managed to convince them to start early.

I went for the steak. It showed up a tad under cooked. I wanted it medium but I'd have called it rare. Maybe even a tad blue even. The landlord gave me a free drink to apoligise though. I suspect the cook doesn't know how to cook steaks properly based on this guide on wikipedia. Still, for a rare steak it wasn't too bad, I just wasn't in the mood for a plate swimming in blood.

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Went up to the pub for the last night farewell bash. It was packed full of people I've never seen before, but thankfully there were a couple of folk I did know so it wasn't a total nightmare. Met H's bloke. Seemed nice. We all ended up playing on the games machine. Only real low point of the night was when they locked us in and in our attempts to get out, [ profile] anonymous_james nearly got in a fight.

In other news, I'm no longer a storyteller. No more having to deal with players. Yay!

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So, that was the last night of the pub under the current management. No more cute barmaid providing amusing conversation and bringing us our drinks over. I'm kinda dreading next week cos we're temporarily going to be a bit too close to home...or rather work. Hopefully my cow-orkers aren't too embaressing. And then (hopefully) the week after, we get to see what a mess the new owners have made of the place. Apparently it's going to involve sofas which has us a little confused - the pub is far too small for sofas. I guess we'll see.

My RSS feed gizmo seems to be a lot easier to manage with just the BBC RSS feeds. If I add any new feeds in future, I might have to be more stringent with what feeds I choose.

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Pub was scarily invaded by the Music soc doing some kind of pub quiz crawl or something. Every so often a team of lovies would stagger in, do all kinds of wierd and wonderful challenges and then stagger out again. Whatever the challenges were, they involved making lots of noise. Amusingly you could tell who the "old" folk were, by who was making disparaging comments about it all.

As seems to be the norm, we had 2 new members show up. I think they enjoyed themselves. No favourite barmaid unfortunately this week - apparently she's ill. Meant we had to walk up to the bar to get our drinks. On the plus side they'd got the old cook back in to cover and the food seemed to be better.

One more week or so to go and then the new management turn up. And they're redecorating the place too. Which means no Thursday on the 9th unless we can decide on a different pub.

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I managed to escape relatively unscathed last night. Only real trauma is the news that the lovely barmaid we've managed to build up quite a good rappo with is going to quit in a few weeks time when the new folk take over. Um...yeah. New folk are apparently taking over. I'd kinda realised that the last "new folk" had mysteriously gone without a word said. That was obvious by the lack of annoying brat. But they'd covered that up by getting the bar bloke to take over.

I'm hoping the new folk are going to be somewhat decent, but by the sounds of it they're not. Or at least TLB thinks they're not going to be that great to work for, hence why she's quitting when they start. But on the plus side she's said she'll pop up and visit on Thursdays. Sit on our side of the bar for a change. Not that it's not stopped her before.

Hopefully today at work will go quickly. I have much plotting for Mage to do for next week. Muaahahahahahahahahahaahahahahaha.

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I'm looking forward to the weekend. Maybe I can shake this cough. The (newish) barmaid last night was hot. In the temperature sense and kept insisting on having all the doors and windows open so the pub was like an icebox. Hence why I've now got a cough. Pah. It doesn't help that the office is really cold too. I think I'm getting a draft from the comms room which I'm sat near.

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Pub was good last night. I also realised why the menu is changing - they've ditched/lost the aging cook. I had wondered where she was last week, but well it being summer it's perfectly feasible for her to be on holiday. But this week I noticed they'd scrubbed her name off the menu where she's named as the creator of the homemade burgers. Which they've also run out of too.

I wonder whether she was pushed or if she jumped. I wonder if the guy they've got doing it is temporary or not. I guess I'll find out when I get back off holiday.

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I don't often post links to news stories, but the headline for this one caught my eye. It's an MP retracting comments he made about how inbreed Norfolk is. It's a shame [ profile] darklittlefox is away, cos he'd find it really funny.

ION: I like the new barmaid. She's cute. Not too great at learning the prices of stuff though. It'll be interesting to see what the new menu they're going to have is. Looks like they've changed cook.

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I wonder how many folk are pondering us changing pub after last night? Dear gods that child was obnoxious. Shame we couldn't throw him onto the roof after his nerf rocket. I think I'm going to lurk inside next week if he's outside - it's probably a lot safer for my sanity that way.

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I'm not sure if I should be sleepy or bouncing off the ceiling. Got called up by work at 5am for an hour or so cos of an issue. Overslept. Have since drank a can of redbull. I have a second can of redbull for when I eventually crash and burn. Or hopefully I'll be able to drink it before that happens and keep going until it's time to go home.

Pub was "odd" last night. Birthday of one of the staff, so the landlady decided to horribly embaress her with everyone singing. But after that the jukebox got hijacked with the "50 Greatest Patriotic Songs Ever!" which the "locals" sang along to. Luckily we were safe out in the garden.


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